28 December, 2008

christmas and after

 "Adeste Fideles" in full swing on the speakers, then a series of "Ave Marias" on the swelling tenor of Bocelli. Yes, the Winter of mine is without (major) discontent. Without Crachits, cousin, insufferable angliophiles and fleeting trills of thrills.
   I danced under the mistletoe with Eleanor Rigby this evening. I think. Or was it dizzy Miss Lizzy? All in a tizzy. Phantoms, hot kati rolls and snarling at innocent strangers on the streets. Hah!

 There was a picnic on the Eve. Like a mini-package of a picnic-spot, with neatly demarcated spaces for the groups. The knowing leers and backslaps of the old crowd (and the awed wonder of the tetchy li'l kids) made it worthwhile I suppose. An ex-teacher in jeans and top: I swear I could not recognise her. A fact which I imparted unto her when she tried the old emotional blackmail tactic - "Ah, you didn't even look at me at first..."
 Was it ever mentioned on this blog that older women are . . . nice? If not, let this be a resonating statement of above fact. :P
    

10 December, 2008

adrift

Quo vadis?

Building upon fragments of yesterday?
Or watching it fade to dust today?


 At least now December is being properly wintry! This sem of college ends tomorrow. I guess I'll head over to SXC and meet some of the old crowd on the 20th - AK's got his violin recital at the concert that day. Hopefully Taru and Co. can make it. :)

03 December, 2008

Vanderlust

Wanderlusting through the meandering bylanes of Anywhere
The lights, the sights and screeching sedans -
A bromide to the masses and this opiate's pilgrimage.

I remember, I remember in this far land across the seas
Beneath the noble stones of crumbling mansions
Those streets of ours . . . forever.
Along Park Street, then the left at Camac -
I've walked this path in countless lives -
Past the flaming shop-fronts, the walled villas
Into Middleton Row.

There's a KFC now near the end and I emerge
From memory lane and into the lane
Of a murderous Merc - we both swear.
One silently mouthing behind a tinted life
And I rending the crisp night air;
I hate these streets where every photon
Has a nu of the light of yesterdays . . .

I try to like the smell of everyday in the morning:
A timestamp of the stampless, markless, faceless
The trudgers - peons and wisps of nothingness.
A mud of blogs, bile and bitterness;
Where once sunlight on swords did gleam
And minds like stars did echoing sing!

But now there are no more balrogs to slay,
No Sith Lords nor Nazgul to hold at bay;
The steel and fire and the Dark Side's ire
I would've faced and fought - for you - any day.
The fire by now is mostly ashes, no more
An excuse of teenage angst, as that too is passing away.
This foe is the crowding Everydays - the cloying mist
That never asks a 'Why?' or shouts an 'I'.
A small life - like spittle on a roadside puddle

Well then, there's enough for a last Ride remaining
Lost blades' laughter in a final unsheathing!
Out of the shadows to a new day breaking -
Sans lay-offs, sans burnt toast, sans serif (!) and yesterdays
To a today and tomorrow that never, ever fades.

28 November, 2008

On musings, mumbai and self-descriptors

 Okay, I'd have to be in another dimension (which is true, occasionally) not to acknowledge the happenings at Mumbai. I'd seen the headlines and that'd been it yesterday morning. Then, of all things, a friend in Indiana started asking me about that. I was like, yeah, so... did they give a small news byte about this?
 Reply: lol, no. Full coverage on CNN as well as CNN IBN which we get along with the main bouquet.
    Amidst the carnage let there be the following words from the One Master to whom I owe allegiance:
 "...when the Sun shines out, it'll shine out the clearer . . . "
 and...
 "End? Oh no, the journey doesn't end here. The grey rain-curtain of this World turns all to silver glass and is rolled back. And then - you see it!"
 "What Gandalf? See what?"
 "White shores. And a far green country under a swift sunrise . . . "



 That's got the necessary morbidity done and over with. If being talked about earned you brownie points to celestial bliss, I'd be lunching with the saints by now. Here are a few of my favourites used to describe yours truly. Imho the greatest gems of the language have bloomed and blossomed around my not quite noteworthy persona.

  • "a person who by his words and actions will take you to the edge of your patience and then kick ur a*se to heaven." courtesy my dear cousin bro. may he rest in p*ss.
  • "In a rendezvous spannin wat seems a lyftym,ARC and his H-factor,his inherent strength n weakness,has been d subject 2much er..speculation..yet to the frustration of many, and amusement of many more,he has remained wat he was:Spirited, Sarcatic,Humourous,Erudite,Culture-Vulture,and above al,H.. 2da core.... An H.. for all seasons, . . . "    This a school buddy, master agnidipto tarafder a.k.a. Inferno:Ablaze. I guess he was talking of the various evil spirits hovering about me. H- here can be loosely translated to have the same emotional potential as 'Ya barstud!!'
  • "You're a big b*stard you know." Sasky (Swarnava Ghosh). 
  • "The Force is strong in him." Rohit Roy
  • "The best of enemies and the worst of friends . . . eh, old friendah?". Valion, Lord Stormcrow.
  • "You're crazy Aruni. Nothing else. Face it." Kaz. 
  • "Master Naru you're a 22-carat the goru*. You-you-you . . . you're just a little thing!" Master Lala Tanmoy Das, ATCL.
  • "I have a cousin in Xavier's. He's a bit weird. Mad about Tolkien." Another cousin, this one female. About five years ago the aforementioned IM was sent to a dearly hated foe.
  • "Aruni? Who's that? Oh, you. I thought your name was Naru only." Durgondha (Sulagna).
  • "You're a legend. But still a goru." M
*Cow.

16 November, 2008

We killed a Huorn the other day

There's now a multistory on the east side - there was a garbage dump before.
What was almost scary was the fact that things had remained so . . . same! Unnervingly the same. The walled-up garage with half-bricks grinning like a leering drunkard. The iron beam still buckled over the colliery store on the south side, resolutely unrepaired as ever. Paused at the battered door as circa 144 years of wizened masonry gave me a snooty glare. Trademark, I snarled. Fifteen years have passed, you effing pile of brick. Those frowning arches don't scare me no more!
My childhood home cum prison. An incarceration that almost killed me with it's gloom, it's damp, it's way of looking only into what had been before and the shadows that spread into you like a spider's web: you never notice the strands until one day there's this contended arachnid with a parlor stuffed with flies (or any other insect of choice).

The long passage with the rooms on either side and stairs leading up to locked upper rooms. The walls bulging with the damp and bloated on the desolation. Clumsy armchairs lurking about just to make sure you shattered your shins trying to navigate around them. Locked bookshelves whose keys are now lost forever in the mists of Time.

I have entered the mausoleum of my childhood - the empty rooms I had filled with hobbits, Jedi Knights, mages and ghouls. Smells of mildew, staleness and neglect. And not at all like teen spirit.
We are making two rooms habitable for humans. It's a tough battle against the termites, sheltering ghosts and scuttling spiders. Sorting through my father's old books, cast up in a corner like driftwood on forgotten shores. "Transmission and distr...", "Lythall Switchgear...", "A.C. Mac...", "6502 architec...", Alec Guiness staring owlishly at me from Smiley's People, Solzhenitsyn, Hardy, "The turn of the...", "IBM main...", Peter Drucker . . . barely registering the covers as I toss them into shleves.

The garden. Or what remains of it, left to it's own devices. There was a Blood Oleander here once, my grandmother used to tend it. The white lilies are still there though. And the tree wherein lived five ghosts. A cat sunning itself proprietorily on a crumbling wall.

A Huorn I tell you 'twas, that had been wrenching apart the north wall. The workmen lopped off the branches and poured acid. I mentally gave a wretched 'hoom' as it fell. The Huorn should have torn apart the whole conceited structure, fed only by it's own ego and rootless pride. And in the rubble I could have buried the morbid past. Marked my forehead with the ascetic's incal traced in ashes. With no song in my head but the road ahead, no fanes to kneel at nor chase unrequited after my Temple, forever beyond my questing grasp.

06 November, 2008

All that jazz

 A sudden return to good old-timer's music.
 Woke up today in the morning, read something about Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgeral in the papers. The usual post-US-election name-dropping.'Blue Moon', 'Mona Lisa'. Sigh.

 Off we went on a listening spree: the Paragon Rag, Take Five , Take the 'A' train, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, I got Rhythm, Someone to watch over me. Veering off again, the unforgettable Salut d'Amor . . .

 It's 8:12 a.m. as I begin type this. Strange, my letters seems to have gone qwerty, the thoughts trailing into a Mobius strip of convolutions. It's a bright day, crisp wintry sun (but never as cold as I would like it in this boiling city), the distant eternal life-buzz of the city - office-goers, loafers, students and listless footsores. Yet I find nothing to pontificate on, pass the once-usual Olympian judgments. No poems, stories or essays. Maybe the so-called 'bad habits' are gone at last.

    I'm beginning to understand the film-critic now. And the art-critic, and book reviewer and the teacher . . . those who base their work on the work of others. There's a comforting sense of being unworried - this mooching of the works of others: listening to the music of others', reading the words drawn from the wells of other loftier minds, walking along the trail other's have blazed.
 It's comforting. An instant bromide for the sleepless dreams, the clenched fists and restless hands of those who once tried to create. To trudge along the  crowded road, somehow. Anyhow. There's so many others like us, right?

    I was sorting through some of the bric-a-brac that accumulate magically at the backs of shelves. Mostly my old work at the Academy of Fine Arts. Couldn't resist the narcisstic urge to go through them - the first stick figures (truly dreadful, I solemnly swear), the lopsided the still-lifes, the usual leit-motifs of dreary structured teaching everywhere.
 There was a distinct break - when I became a member of the British Coucil Library. The skies were different, the tones subdued. I remember those 'arty' pseudo-intellectual years - juggling Academy and the buddies in school. Remember having made a concious decision to shun the path trodden by well-nigh every budding anybody with a paint-brush: abstractions, cubism, distorted nudes, emaciated beggars, starving workers . . .
    I did landscapes mainly. Quietly. For my own satisfaction.
    Found my first oils.

 Why do I not start again? 'No time' is an excuse (an age ago, I called them reasons) I have devised for myself. The truth: I do not know if I can anymore. And I have no wish to find out. The last of my vanities better be in the past. To be brought out and whimpered over when the mediocrities of real life smother me as always. I was too young to know if I ever had any talent in art. Or was it merely skill. And I never want to find out. Better to go on with a weary grin "Yeah, well, maybe it could've amounted to something. But you know, now it's too late...." Gives just the right aura of bygone splendor. An excuse for the present detritus.

 There, now I have truly joined the ranks of the world's citizenry of excuses. Creators, pray pardon.

 The music? I listen, as always.

18 October, 2008

Snatches from an outing

Nothing to do at home now. So here I am digging through ancient archives.
I still remember the scorching sun, the flies and sweaty heat. And the obstinate decision to still go on that photo session. Of the city's best places.
Used the memory card of the cam rather than the cassette so it's kinda grainy. Don't have an IEEE port unfortunately.

Here are two of my personal favorites, both in Victoria Memorial:


Thronging the gates
video



On the 'waterfront'
video

Sighs in sepia

Classes have started again and the breather is over. The journeys home re-booted. The swift nightfall and the swifter silence in a rattling college bus. Hiccuping over the truck-shattered tarmac. Bouncing rear-wheels, FM radio and senseless laughter that vainly scrabbles against the wall of silence. Batting at bloody mosquitoes!
Cheap lights on shop-fronts and cheaper passers-by. Where people say 'yes' for lacking the courage to say the deserved 'no'.
Glass glitters more than diamond at times. It has more to prove you see.

Ever since I can recall I have craved for that primal, visceral yes. When you stand before a tower of glass and steel rearing proudly over the earth, the straight lines of a giant canal, a flaming sunset on the canvas sky, words blazing on a book's page - it draws that 'yes' from within, of approval. The lofty within oneself answering the loftiness of what is beheld. Ayn Rand never put it better.
The last skies I gave that yes to was two months ago, speeding down with the wind in my hair.

I'm taking a ... what I call a self-imposed sabbatical from the institution, i.e. bunking college today.
The 6502 instruction set emulator is coming along fine - using Python to code the files then Tkinter to design the GUI frontend. It's put on hold as of now - can't manage that an the exams in December. Looking forward to resuming that: a yes to my own self.

Of last evening: just had to talk to a few people ... and Hallelujah! There they were on the net. The veteran teddy - Master Basu. And old Lala in the flesh (erm...web...whatever...). Talked of new plans and the roads ahead. Seriously, chatting with guys several continents (and an ocean too I believe) away gives me a comfortable sense of 'being in touch' with the buddies. :)

My morning started today in sepia. And that drew a yes from me.

My quest for more such 'yes's continues in the world about me. I'm finding it less and less. In what others speak and write, in what I write (terribly conceited as it may sound, in some posts I felt that 'yes' for my own self!) and in what is envisaged.
Self-delusions of glory? Or maybe the unreached goals that were within all these people, but stifled out of fear of failure and the cloying greys of beholding only the desperate glitter of glass all around?
The quest keeps me alive, dear reader (if any). That, and the sepia lives.

09 October, 2008

Auguries in autumn

And so another Durga Pujo draws to a close - the kaash, the frenzied drumming of dhaks, whirling dances like fevered dervishes, bowing before the Goddess. The triumph of Light over Darkness. The city in the usual festive madness, pumped up on the life-force.
An excuse for endless shopping, ceaseless gorging, late-nights and adda at Maddox Square with pals all over.
They were all there, nicknames as intact as their idosyncracies - Bachha, Hati, Buchu, Potty (yes, there was reason for calling him that), Dhon das. Then Rohit, Agni, Anagh . . . All over north-Calcutta, eyeing the earthly likenesses of the Goddess ( :P ) even as we bowed in front of her huge idols. Some things never change . . .
Then the South where friends, lovers and the barely-known are thrown into a heady cocktail. Neon-flashes. Band-performances. Milling crowds that slurp you up into its mad self. Entwined couples, quadruples even! Old embers and new flames. Admixture of the traditional dress with the funky Metallica tee'd GenY. Hah, I love this city!
I decline a fag (politely, for once) and make my way to Park Street - where the occidentophiles are the same as ever, where drum-beats of Pujo are a distant sussuration at the edge of my conciousness. The same, always the same. Shop-fronts lighted, night-clubs and discs and the best restaurants. My own memory lane, forever. The walk took a lifetime, or less. I do not know, having walked that road so many times with so many others. After a time all personae blur.

Today is Dashami, the Tenth Day of Pujo. All over the city the lavishly built sanctums along with the idols are beings hauled down. Down in roaring processions to the water's edge where the Ganga ceaseless flows. There amidst the cries of a thousand lungs is the goddess immersed - the Slayer of demons - clay and paint and cloth-of-gold dissolving in the silent rush of waters.

07 September, 2008

On journeys home

There's a homecoming (not necessarily of Beorhtnoth) for me every working day. Kicking open the door that insists on getting stuck. Fumbling (and cursing on autopilot) for the lights. I can almost feel the nothingness sucking out the Me from within me - the unwelcoming mustiness of empty rooms. Litany of gobbling, unpacking and searching for the right questions to the wrong answers. And the thronging ghosts of neverending phone-calls.

A month left, yet Gariahat is chock-full of the Puja multitude. Lights flashing by, then slowing inevitably at the ever-present signals. I'm thinking of the zillion other drives back home. Speeding down the Bypass. A time of innocence when 'forever' meant a month and 'never' - two. Looking back through a glass darkly. Cannot help but smirk at myself - it really takes time for the absolutes used so flippantly throughout life to regain their true proportions. Many homecomings later.

That's life, Life and college. On Sundays too, for pity's sake!

Over to memory lane again. Visited the alma mater on Wednesday. Now that was a Homecoming. The teachers ("How are you? You never mail Ooruni. My add is ranbhatt. Y'know, I ran and then..." "Ma'am, then you bhatted?" I ask helpfully) and the old buddies. It was gratifying in a small, vain little way.

Time to get off the bus. UC is using her eye-liner - some nice guy at her computer course. GK is terrifying as usual. Alim sniggers: there's little he and S don't do in the back seats. Someone asks something inane and I counter with a dreadful banality.
Life's like elastic really. Only the homecomings jar me out of the muddy rut. And know that there is a highway for me to reach.

21 August, 2008

Musing on my Immortals

As always there's music playing somewhere. This time not just in my mind.

There's just too much that time cannot erase......

My thoughts soar, surf and crash with Amy Lee's voice. A fitting 'first song' to play on the newly installed linux OS. I'm left with science, ghosts and my much vaunted love of solitude.

There was a time (my crest has long since crashed) when I believed in being swept away on the peaks of ideals, shout with rapture, dance like a dervish, be delirious with sheer joy. That was when summer's never ended, only became spring - the acorn for the next summertime.

Now I know what is autumn - the wind over russet leaves, the grey clouds sculling across a scumbled sky.
To have completed the journey without a Fall would be meaningless. The passion, obsession . . . who knows when lightning may strike? But one has to try. For not having tried wouldn't have been living a life at all.
Teenage had it's joys - and the perk of not facing all the consequences. things change as always.
And my father made it a point to forget to wish me on the 18th. guess i should've been used to it after all these years.


12 August, 2008

Sweeping up the pieces

The party's over and Silence reclaims it's land. Sweeping up the leftovers, pushing back the chairs, straightening the tables. Switch off the lights and then closing the door. Softly! Ever so softly - the barest of clicks to end an epoch.
This is a new world and I'm learning of many things. Like letting things flow past and for once, not try to mould all things to my will. Forcing the smile, the nod and the banalities. I so detest the inane idiots that throng these times. Yet trying to pick up the grain from the chaff. As always.
Things are looking up, getting a semblance of motion. I'm getting used to small fields and little streams - no more of the beckoning mountains that I yearned for on the distant horizons. The times they have a'changed. For the better in more ways than one.
A time to live so that other times may come.

And so, onwards!

01 August, 2008

Comings and goings

"There's nothing to be sad about people going to different colleges outside. The summer is over and if you didn't have anything to do - that'd be the really sad thing."

The Maruti sped across the Bypass, each commuter wrapped in his/her thoughts as usual. I glanced outside and was glad I had. Brooding clouds covered the darkening sky like a pall of smoke. Deep amid the tattered shroud there were a few streaks of red - like the dull embers of all-but-concealed grief, fading into the West.
I took a snapshot of the sky and set it as my cell's wallpaper. Wondered at the futility of the gesture - how many snapshots can I possibly take, how much can I capture of the fleeting moments in my life?

That's when I began on that dangerous pastime: reminiscing. And regrets that inevitably hitch a ride on memory lane.

College begins today. A new beginning to cover the dregs of yesterday.
There is no sadness anymore. Just another reason to go on.

23 July, 2008

Tomes Today

Not really today. Yesterday.

My dear second cousin (one of the wide menagerie the family's managed to amass - this particular specimen on the paternal side at that.) came bearing gifts. Namely:
  1. One pine board. Huge. For drawing thinguses I'll never need beyond first yr.
  2. One wooden T-square, of the variety now extinct. Huge. Paint splattered. My dad passed it on to the chap - the instrument bearing the invisible stamp of JU engg.
  3. One plastic T-square which my cousin wisely used instead of the prehistoric relic. Ditto for me too. ;)
  4. One Jute-bag filled with notes
  5. One more Jute-bag filled with notes
  6. Five books
  7. List of more books that I 'should' buy.
Quite a haul. Even before my first day in college.

Confession: this post has been written mainly to bring the no. of posts closer to 150. To lather an otherwise insignificant number with a swathe of distinction.

18 July, 2008

Of chinese buffet and Schrodinger's Equation

There is a special charm to some, I'm sure, to watch Hancock while listening to a blow-by-blow account of solving Schrodinger's eqn. in polar co-ordinates. To an audience of people who haven't yet progressed to Ostragovsky's Theorem or any of those curly effings.

A not-so-rotund panda with legendary smile (of beatific serenity) intact (CS from some uni. in New Jersey), a now-skinny med student (off to Indiana [Jones!!!!!!!] - soon to be rid of the chap!), the Chemical Ali (polar co-ord.s nerd; Chem. from BITS-Pilani), a goatee'd CS engg. guy from the city outskirts and of course: the reverend sylph with the violence-quotient of a sledgehammer and the stilettos of terror (psych. from Ohio).

Aye, ickle me be in luminous company {;-D

Between ogling sideways (i confess, i confess...), staring at screen and snarling at the continued solving of aforementioned eqn. . . . well, life passes with a semblance of tolerance.
And that is something to be thankful for.

11 July, 2008

A time to walk and a time to talk

I chanced upon a truly memorable picture - alas it's not on the net yet. no matter, I'll be scanning it in after I (or my mother) buy the book.
There was Marlon Brando ... the Brando a la Streetcar named Desire, On the Waterfront and the beginnings of the Vito yet to be acted o'oer. And towering nearby was this six-four fellow in short-sleeves - Satyajit Ray - French legion of honour, Palm d'Or, to receive the Oscar on his deathbed. Arguably two of my favourite guys ever to have handled celluloid. Or been portrayed on it. In the same frame!!

Anyhow, that's got my sudden surges of idolising out of the way.

We walked the walk, talked the talk. About life and death and Life and Death and the future of others and ours and those we knew or didn't or would get to know, cared about or didn't, loved or lost, wounded or bolstered . . . and all the other bric-a-brac that peppers the conversation of people when their thoughts run far ahead of mere words. And they see suddenly a tangible end to the rituals of long association.

Found myself talking online to a person I had last seen over three years ago. Both unsure whether the years and several continents have rusted the well-oiled wheels of our chit-chats of yore. Talks that rambled on endlessly and intimately - oh, so long ago.
The carriage of conversation trundles on still - what if one wheel squeaks now and then?
She has changed her plans - not sure of medicine anymore in England. I wonder how much my plans would chnage in a new country and in three years time.

Thoughts veer back to the present. I guess some things remain the same. I'll still snort in self-disgust when I see taller women (especially the teutonic valkyrian sort that towers over my not-quite-six feet), still mimic (horribly) his bloody Angliophilic accent and mannerisms, still insist his elder sister is a Chinese pygmy (I feel so relieved when women are shorter!) and insist equally forcefully that No! I bloody well don't still have a crush on her!!!!Whaddya take me for, a blushing schoolkid? "Hey M-. I..erm..mmblemmblegrmmp...blrrp...er..hi! It's um...me...ummm...er...right.Whatever."

Oh, and how could I forget! The new nom de guerre - American mamoni!!! Bwahahaha!

Er...right. Things may not change much. At least, not the ones that really matter.

30 June, 2008

Ze Sabreduelischt


7:24 PM
OOkaye, so here followse ane accounte ofe ye infamousse sabreduele betwixt twaine Force-adeptsesesesesesesesesesesesesesesesssseseseeeesssesessfrgregvtrbs yiugnb ifgiudtrnghbjmh09.
Thiffe followeth ye duelelelele fromme ye pointe offe viewe offe Alarond, Lord Greywrath as he essayeth forth (*essayeth, mind you!) against Prince Kazarelth Feantur. (check out Kaz's version of the thingy please!)


Oh, and how downright silly of me - forgot to set the scene.
Alright then. Tall pillars rising high up until the top arches are lost in the gloom. Rough-hewn flagstones over which the chill gusts blow zephyrs of dust. In most places, there is no ceiling or wall - and the angry boiling mass of thunderclouds can be seen looming grim and grey and ominous.

Well...you get the general idea of aggressive geography. No need for alarums, the site is alarming enough.
Sorry, forgot to mention - there be snow-capped peaks in the distant horizon, liked the serrated edge of the Scythe of Death.

There are light footsteps echoing through the cavernous desolation. Not steps trying to conceal the sound, but that of beings soft-footed by the very nature of their existence.
Two figures emerge and face each other, like in the Westerns y'know. Only, they aren't blooming bow-legged or clattering about in spurs.
Hooded, cloaked, arms hidden within the folds of darkly flowing robes billowing in the wind.
The slightly taller and bulkier one's tunic is trimmed in teal and there is a gleam of glinting eyes from within the cowl.
The other is thin, almost emaciated with darkling eyes that tended to smoulder.
What!?! You don't expect them to be joined by some other people and start playing contract bridge or something, do you?

me: the FOrce is with this one. ;)
Haryon: Which one? :P
me: thyself
Haryon:
;P
en garde!
me: en riposte!
7:25 PM Haryon: Counter riposte!
Add-on riposte! :P
me: _wrist flick, twirl!!!!!_)
Haryon: <*Force Usage*> Lightning
:P
7:26 PM me: <*yoda style reflect back*> <*yee-haw!!*>
Haryon: So it works both ways.
Conservation of energy when energy collides :P
<*Force Choke*>

7:27 PM me: <*blocks*>
btw, we shud publish this chat on BLogger

Haryon: <*More Chokery*>
{Yes!}

7:28 PM me: <*becomes impassive, lifts up left hand as if spastic, says in constipated tones, "Stop" a la Neo*>

7:29 PM Haryon:<*Does not stop since he lives beyond the Matrix*>Behold Jedi ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssscummmmmmmmmmmmm<*Does a little corkscrew turning thingee like Sidious daddy and puts the saber through a pillar*>
7:31 PM
me: <*withdraws into hooded robe like nazgul, then white light stabs out at the Palpy-emulator*> Alarond lives beyond matrix too. but not JRR T.
7:32 PM <*back flips*>



7:32 PM
Haryon: <*Mystically transforms the white shaft into a many-coloured rainbow and goes in search of the treasure at the end of it and discovers a fairy instead and has sex with her*>
:P
7:33 PM Yeah, bitches. Kidstuff erotica xD

7:34 PM me: <*records it and threatens blackmail. Sex, Lies and duct-tape -I mean, videotape!*>


Haryon: Blackmail _who_, exactly? :P
me: the fairy, yer nut
Haryon: /me has nothing to fear muhuahuahaahuahahaha
me: you're too much a philistine to fear i gather.
Haryon: Oh. She must be a horny 'un :P
7:35 PM me: indeed. and despo to allow you
Haryon: Hey. You were the one who mentioned something like "Fealdamar has a mistress eh" or something.
xP
me: ;)
well, has she?
i mean, Fealdamar
Haryon: Well... not really.
7:36 PM BUT. I need to know where exactly you got that info from
me: if 'well...not really' then why the counter-query?
7:37 PM Haryon: Because, redolently, you must have heard something.
Or seen.
Or both.
me: Or neither
Haryon: Or neither.
How _nice_. :[
me: Just a catcher in the rye
Haryon: I was thinking of some nice debate and going against the rumourmerchant
And then shaking my fist at him or something.
7:38 PM Really... it was just your guess? :(
Man. This sucks.
me: Might be. Or then again, i may be protecting my shourshes (shirr Seam)
*sean
Haryon: Good point.
The whole point being, I wouldn't go after your sources
7:39 PM But I'd protect my fictional gf from them
me: hahaha
Haryon: Which is beyond the point really.
{I'd rather protect meself :P}
me: well then, make the fictional a reality. then u might get a chance to do some of the more swashbuckling saber moves in a damsel's honor
7:40 PM Haryon: Yes.
There seem to be no opportunities for that.
IN MY WOULD-BE COLLEGE THOUGH! :P
It sucks that beauty is inversely proportional to brains mostly.
7:41 PM me: Insooth yes.
Haryon: :[
7:42 PM me: we are publishing this on respective blogs, ain't we?
i'd like to cross-link ours
Haryon: Haha yes xD
7:43 PM {In some time, plis. I need a day more of my writing to stay}
{I'll publish tomorrow at 4 PM. What say?}
me: Agreed! Ah, Our episods. For public review at last
7:44 PM .....
Haryon: Yes!
Only, our episods are pretty 18+ :P
me: Ha! That's the point entirely. HOpefully the more conservative ladies wouldn't be scandalised!
7:45 PM I mean as this one for a preview
.
Haryon: Yes...



08 June, 2008

Like moonlight on snow

I had pounded down the sloping sidewalk. Past the flaring headlights and blaring horns. The rush and speed of a life that always finds me lagging.
Yes, there was laughter. And words. And silences that didn't deafen. Not any more.

It takes a while to find that bread and butter doesn't come with a complementary jug of honey. Even if it does, it's not always meant for the nearest grabber.
Or maybe it is.

Stop! That way lies madness.

The stars wheel overhead, the computer hums and lights twinkle from the night like a seaport. Guiding my wayward vessel back home. The sea-longing never sated, but merely slumbering. My highest reverence!
Yes, I'd have the half-smile than a void. A nod than a nothing. Absolutes are for the gods and the insane. I am neither. Yet.

Wanderlusting through the meandering bylanes of Anywhere. Dark wraith in shadowy nooks. I make people uneasy, I know. Dutiful smiles, back-slaps and back-stabs. The salt in my veins runs deep, one feels. Like the roots of the mountains whose far peaks I had descried from atop a paternal shoulder. Long time ago, in a reality far, far away.
A sign, a call! In the first breath of sunrise, the frolick of moonlight on snow. Or the shimmer of heat over countless rooftops. Thoughts soar like unbounded limits. I shall answer.

Somehow, though summers always end, something I feel will stay with me. Friends in need, they say, are friends indeed. With that worn and dog-eared adage, I take my leave. To dreams untroubled of angst after many a pillow-pounding night.
Farewell!

So hard to define...Dylan speaks for me

I laid on a dune, I looked at the sky,
When the children were babies and played on the beach.
You came up behind me, I saw you go by,
You were always so close and still within reach.

Sara, Sara,
Whatever made you want to change your mind?
Sara, Sara,
So easy to look at, so hard to define.

I can still see them playin' with their pails in the sand,
They run to the water their buckets to fill.
I can still see the shells fallin' out of their hands
As they follow each other back up the hill.

Sara, Sara,
Sweet virgin angel, sweet love of my life,
Sara, Sara,
Radiant jewel, mystical wife.

Sleepin' in the woods by a fire in the night,
Drinkin' white rum in a Portugal bar,
Them playin' leapfrog and hearin' about Snow White,
You in the marketplace in Savanna-la-Mar.

Sara, Sara,
It's all so clear, I could never forget,
Sara, Sara,
Lovin' you is the one thing I'll never regret.

I can still hear the sounds of those Methodist bells,
I'd taken the cure and had just gotten through,
Stayin' up for days in the Chelsea Hotel,
Writin' "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" for you.

Sara, Sara,
Wherever we travel we're never apart.
Sara, oh Sara,
Beautiful lady, so dear to my heart.

How did I meet you? I don't know.
A messenger sent me in a tropical storm.
You were there in the winter, moonlight on the snow
And on Lily Pond Lane when the weather was warm.

Sara, oh Sara,
Scorpio Sphinx in a calico dress,
Sara, Sara,
You must forgive me my unworthiness.

Now the beach is deserted except for some kelp
And a piece of an old ship that lies on the shore.
You always responded when I needed your help,
You gimme a map and a key to your door.

Sara, oh Sara,
Glamorous nymph with an arrow and bow,
Sara, oh Sara,
Don't ever leave me, don't ever go.

Well, he has said it all. Left now is to blow out the candle. Softly, softly! And smile like there is no tomorrow.

02 June, 2008

Addicted to laziness

I've been mulling over the usual things - get going on finishing ol' Joyce's contribution to standard Gibberish (Ulysses), burn my Bergman collection onto a CD, get a hold on Python instead of toying with the darn code and get the whining fan on my chassis fixed.

The mulling has been on for a week or so.
I'm basically gorging, dragging myslf out with friends, then flopping back on bed. Managed to read The twentieth wife (no, not for ideas; rather nice really: about Mehr-un-nisa and Jehangir), Giovanni's Room (skimmed over the really gay parts...eeeks!!! I'm homophobic, can't be helped.), watched Antonioni's The perfect woman.
Hopelessly browsing through colleges to apply to.

Braved the heat to pop into Xavier's. La pater a la dacshund received me most imperiously. Retaliated by raising my left eyebrow by a fraction. Some people have achieved more with raising it a millimeter, than most with raising their voices. Empty corridors stretching down the eastern wing. Desolate. And the closed doors seem to forever exclude me now from the school. Thankfully.

17 May, 2008

Summer Upstaged

Every time I walk onstage,
Matchstick figure taking an age
To go up, somewhere 1812 Overture
Is playing - whisper at first,
Then rising, soaring...like
An unbounded limit.
That's what I hear - alone.

The darkened dias and familiar ghosts
Flitting by the gloomy pillars.

"Presenting the phantom of the Opera himself!"
Sanyal booms and Fr. Boris, SJ grins
And grimaces himself onto the stage.

"It was the San Souci theatre before.'"
A once-portly friend never tires of proclaming;
I did a stentorian Bushism there once -
"The university of Tagore's works!"
Universality. Damn! Didn't really have to
Kick myself: there are always many
To return that sorta favour.

Basu and Kanti('Panty'!) in the spotlight - bantering away,
Tonks and I a year later, the very same way;
And of course old Agni's brainchild - the play.

Bunked classes to hear the piano, like
Devotees in some darkened fane
Arcane and ancient among empty seats:
Sometimes avoiding a terrible row
(Sometimes a comely teacher in tow).

"Aruni Roy Chowdhury, please come blackstage!"
I was right behind the silly bugger;
Chap's in the Defence Academy,
Silly bugger fore'er he'll be!

I'm beginning to admire the Bard (yeah, again),
Rolling my tongue aroung the apostrophes,
Still having trouble working things out
Especially the part about 'exits' and 'stage'.

When the party's over (really, so fast?), the job's all done,
And you're hanging back maybe for last "well done";
But the backslaps and bearhugs are done for the day,
All you're doing is being in the way.
It's time to put back the chairs and put out the lights
And close that door with the softest of clicks.

14 May, 2008

Lost (and found) in translation

"And the twain shall ever meet...."

I have spent a happy weekend translating Macbeth's soliloquoy into Quenya. The pointlessness of the venture inspired me all the more.

Entore, entore ar entore
Oiosintane pitya rangasse
Areltonnar aurelto,
Ana telda quetta onotima yaresse;
Ar ilya vanwe vanwa cale alnola
I malennar qualmasto . . .
Metta, metta! Nauca calma,
Cuile na nan vantalomin,
Larquen tyaro ya orme lumerya
Or i paca, ar sanvanwa.
Nyarna avaquetima i faica!
Quanta in lama, ar aha,
Tancole lusta . . .



(The accents/diareses/et cetera are quite beyond my patience to insert)


To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

-- Macbeth (V.v.19)

11 May, 2008

The darling buds of May





The month first puts me in the mood of May it be... Unlike my friend Tonks, no, I don't use it to fall asleep. It use it as an accessory for transcendental stimulation of the subconcious. It just looks like I'm dozing off, for pete's sake!

May Day of course is entwined with memories, both hilarous and sad. It was on a blazing, sweaty May Day that I found myself ascending the shadowy stairs to the spooky abode of Mr. Samuel Framroze Engineer for the first and second-last time in my life. The only FTCL (Piano) in India. He had a large dalmatian (Zeus) which had a curious affinity for Tonks' posterior as Engineer took his piano lessons.
I never asked him to play something for me. Never asked him anything much really.
He'd gone off Upstairs quite some time back. May Day brought it back to me. A fleeting touch in my life, not of any intrinsic importance. But his playing, his playing . . .

The second of the month was my maternal grandfather's birthday. Surely he's stinking of nicotine with the Upstairs-man, chain smoker that he was. It was also the birthday of film-maker Satyajit Ray. They shared quite a few laughs too, my mother tells me, these men that shared their birthdays. Whatever. That past is lesser than a ghost.
And on it goes, the fourth,the fifth, the minor chord, the major sixth....
The eighth. Rabindra Jayanti. I have spent one-third of my life every year in the programme on Tagore's birthday. Voiceover to the play, emcee to the programme. Cannot remember the time when I sat in the audience to see the performances in the college auditorium. This year: nothing.

I can see myself partially reflected in the window panes. Half-light and the rest the view outside. The mind can concieve of everything, everywhere and everywhen. The monoliths of the past, through the smoke-rings of my mind. Argosies of achievements (magnitude is relative to the scale of the observer, remember pray) floating down the uncharted seas of eternity. And the future a multiverse of possibility - to grasp and forge one's own path.
Yet, yet in the grand solitude of the gifted, it does not do to not value the present. The here and the now. The distant birdcalls, cars, scattered books. The taste of burgers standing the test of time.

Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

03 May, 2008

Gusts of glory

Sudden. Abrupt.

Hurried to the terrace, hauled by the violent winds, dust forming zephyrs, flinging around rubbish I hadn't noticed before.

And then, before I could savor it fully, it was gone. The lightning bared it's teeth a bit, and the wind was still a bit high. Is all.

Compliments. Rare.

I am highly judgmental. And perennially talking behind peoples' backs.
But guess what, I make sure I'm the first one to tell 'em all about it.
The source of the credo? A part of Asimov's Second Foundation. The First Speaker's words to a neophyte:

"It is possible to glean the true feelings behind even the most skilfully constructed mental shield. No, rather keep your mind open and visible to all, and learn to discipline your own thoughts before trying to obfuscate the vision of others . . . "

Words behind my back are so ... audible to me.
One speaketh: "Aruni's so - so frank about everything. Right on your face he'll say everything."
Another answereth: "So, isn't that something to learn?"

Made my day, that. *sheepish grin*
It is easy to confuse forthrightness with the bluntness of a cudgel. Through many buffets, I've finally managed to make the fine distinction. It pays to be a man for all seasons. As long as you want to.
There are many lives that I've touched that remind me of Dante's Trimmers. The one's that had 'trimmed' their sails to suit and follow every wind and tide that came their way. Ne'er held firm the rudder to steer their own course, forge their own destiny rather than ride on others' coattails (infinitely easier though it is).
They are the ones who are forever marooned, neither here not there.

02 May, 2008

No leave required

What does one say to a teacher who was widely reviled for her strict discipline and nagging behaviour, and as widely respected for her encyclopedic knowledge of her subject and an unwaveringly principled character? What does one say, especially if the recipient has passed beyond the reach of mortal voices?

Universally 'Maggie', Mrs. Mridula Goswami was a first class first in physical chemistry from Calcutta University, and teaching at Xavier's for ... ages. We were her last batch of 12s before retirement and definitely one of the worst mannered. This post is as much an obituary (unneeded) as a cathartic purgatory for the havoc we wreaked upon the poor lady's nerves.
Still, I remember the satisfaction at having gotten the second highest in chem. despite her notorious marking scheme.
She was battling cancer and passed away last week. Here's a toast (in test-tubes, mind) to her in wherever the teachers' Valhalla is located. Serenaded by rate constants and served by Avogadro!
Mrs. Goswami loved (to the point of swooning) Tanmoy's piano. I'm sure he would oblige for a last Traumarie in her memory.

01 May, 2008

on the waterfront (er...side)

A short break from the monotony of usual days. A much needed lunch out at the behest of a friend.
Waterside cafe almost put me back in my old mood - merrily mimicking fellow diners, among whom hags predominated (alas!). Not to mention pseudo-Victorian tourists.
I hate it when women are taller than me. Call me a chauvinist if you would.

Nota Bene: Tanmoy, have a care when you comment!

27 April, 2008

An old intention

Ever since Vader's Memoirs on blogger, I had it in mind to create a tribute to some other popular scion of the Dark Side.

I have. Voldemort. Not that I'm a die-hard Potter fan (eeek). But readership, alas, is an issue. An Sauron is not at all empathising material while keeping a straight face.

Translation still goes on at Macbeth's soliloquy. Quenya has an amazing flow. Oh, and I've my AIEEE today. Heh.

25 April, 2008

On the beautiful 'whatevers'

The IIT-JEE didn't go too well, actually. So the doors of the premier technical institute in this country has shut its doors on my face with a rather resounding clang. Ah, well! Whatever.

There is hope in the other exams. Let us see. Dropping a year for another crack at IIT is not my cup of tea. Cannot afford to lose a year really - speed is of the essence if I am to steer myself along the course I've charted out tentatively.

Things in India are veering back into the bad old days. In colonial times, most of the landed gentry of Bengal (and elsewhere certainly, but I wouldn't have first-hand accounts of those) sent their scions to England to study. Out of the country at any rate.
A throwback of that in modern times. Those who can are already in USA after the SATs - out of these squalid things. The cutthroat competition (for even not-so-highly-prized qualifications), the favoritism rampant everywhere, the ominously exponential growth of a non-core industry, if there's a boom that's booming for too long people, there gonna be a crunch that'll be the Big Crunch . . . hard times in other words.
Not that's its Utopia there, I know. But hey! When you're in a uni where, say, the LCD was patented (KSU), or the first IC chip created . . . Like the difference in laid-back Kolkata and the relatively supersonic rush in Mumbai for example. Yeah, economy falling and everything - but it's still got a long way to go.

Me? Nope, all this is mainly other ppl' s rantings I have compiled. :P
When my dad floated the tender of SAT to me, it was way too late. Less than 6 months to prepare. Again, I'd rather do the grad from here (finger to competition!) and then search for greener pastures. Better to leave a green pasture for greener ones, not a barren desert I'm fleeing like a refugee.

Now back to some maths.....

23 April, 2008

On lengths and breadths

For sure, I generally do not help out unless coerced by some external Force am always there to lend a helping hand.
It feels rather great, like a mental pat on the back for my do-good tendencies (whose extent is quite rudimentary).

Hey, look, I ain't all that bad after all. Butch Cassidy the lot of 'em! Raindrops keep fallin' on my head, they keep bloody fallin' on my head. Which is not too bad in this ruddy furnace.
(yes, I might require a psychiatrist with a pitchfork)

No, a pair of delectably long legs did not catalyse my actions!

18 April, 2008

Them evenings

Sometimes, I do believe I have to compile a magnum opus on Evening.

Took a break from Maths. These days the winds blow in lusty gusts out of the darkened East. Flirting with the fire-fettered steeds of dusk, fraught with the fiery gaze of the Eye sinking into the West. Eyes burn lucent in the shade and everything seems to be more quintessentially itself. A lamp is more a lamp, a tree more a tree. Perhaps because the darkened shadows outline it in prominence. Minds too soar with sudden limpid clarity, borne upon the untamed gusts.

The sheer magnitude of the winds seem to make everything so . . . trifling.

And then again, gnawing at my very being - that nameless, undefined longing. A yearning for something forever just beyond my questing grasp. Maybe to soar into the Untrammeled with the lawless gusts, traversing aeons, light-years and lifetimes in a flicker of thought. Beyond the wicket-fences of safe homes, the golden necklaces of over-bridge lights, name, fame and the meaningless trappings that encumber our precious lives. 'Cept for the sky, there are no fences facin'.
To paint again as I did (oh, so very long ago!) with my flying form as brush and the cosmos for my canvas. To bring forth the music in my mind upon the strings of the Deep.

A conch-shell is blowing in some devout household. The lamps of the Eventide are lit, little flickers of human faith.
My rooms are dark.

I find myself staring vacantly into the space where the sun was. How swiftly the shroud falls upon the dying day. How do I explain something that loses it's profundity in explanation?
Sometime ago, I must've started quoting aloud, for I hear the words whispered in my suddenly hoarse voice,

Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!

A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed
One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud . . .

16 April, 2008

On charity

To me it's just earning brownie points on the stairway to heaven. Period.

You give some loose change to a beggar - isn't there a sense of satisfaction at having done something for your unfortunate fellow creature, a feeling that 'yes! I am a good human being.' So is the deed done for the fellow creature, or also for the main course of boosting morality?
Outside a temple you see bhokti-godo-godo (brimming over with piety) people scattering money like crumbs. The look of pure gratitude on the recipients' faces, the respectful whispers of "See the young so-and-so....the scion of such-and-such family....such a kind soul, so generous, so magnanimous..."
Surely that's a visa to Seventh Heaven, Cloud 9 right?

Every time there is any interaction with a class-C employee/menial workers . . . goodness, such politeness. Such effete etiquette. For what joy? - that little voice applauding the deeds that leads to the unalloyed joy the man/lady may feel at being 'treated as an equal'. A balloon of self-righteous joy at doing the 'right thing'.

Ludicrous. Either we do it for the sake of the recipient, or not at all. True, in all effect there is no difference but there is. If receiving the gratitude is somewhere in out thoughts then Lord! I refuse to believe that however generous a deed will mean a thing.

11 April, 2008

On my doorstep

The problem is continuity. It is easy to begin (yeah, awesome discovery, that) and ego-boostingly satisfying to end. The middle part is where the problem lies. Between the "Let's do this, people!" and the "This is it! We did it!"

Especially difficult it is to prepare thoroughly if my copy of Ubuntu 7.10 appears on my doorstep. Aargh, how'll I ever restrain myself? Oh, bebother it all! I'm off to some OS installation ppl. IIT is old enough to fend for itself, for Eru's sake.


07 April, 2008

RIP Judah Ben-Hur


He was a beloved icon for generations of movie-goers, references to his most memorable performance are everywhere.

I remember Agni and myself making Ben-Hur+Messala faces and quaffing our water-bottles like they showed with goblets in the film. Ah well! ARC's school days. L'Finis. Heh.

Battling Alzheimer's, Judah's chariot race is over, Moses vanishing into a dramatic skyline. Recalling some of his not-so-well-known performances - as Michelangelo in Agony and Ecstasy, Major Dundee and the unforgettable Khartoum. Embodied the typical style of that era - the larger-than-life extravaganza of a Cecil B. de Mille epic blockbuster, the over-the-top personae and eminently quotable one-liners.

My memory's on overdrive it seems! Long ago in Std. 6. Wren and Martin's Grammar. The teacher calls out a sentence: "And the entire Sinai trembled dash the voice of God."
A skinny bespectacled boy let out a spontaneous rumble of what he thought God to be - a mighty booming + loads of yellow light coming out of a cave. To my joy that same divine echo was taken up by another boy, a few seats away.

The Rameses of the class banished us forthwith for our bass disruptions. However, that triggered my long and eventful association with one Aparajit Basu - known by many names: Darth Basu, The Imperial One, Lord Valion, Celethor Stormcrow Valalinde, .... et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Here's to Charlton Heston in all his avatars which defined my (and many others') psychotic childhood persona.

Sneh! I'm reminiscing at the drop of a pin these days. Maybe it's the aftermath of graduating.

"Looking back on childhood years,
Even unhappiness acquires a certain glow...
"

05 April, 2008

Doting on dotards

Did I ever mention my distaste for using collective nouns with respect to humans. There's a most disagreeable aftertaste after conforming to the norms expected of one in any such conglomerations - graced by such terms as meeting, party, soirée, pow-wow and what have you!

The food was passable. I didn't manage to have a jalebi before the alumni meeting started. It was memorable due to the following factors redeeming it's exquisite engendering of boredom:
  1. The fact that some people can approach the approximate dimensions of a well-fed walrus. With a paunch even at the back of the neck for goodness' sake...
  2. That Jesuits have truly commendable ways of dozing off, even if they are sitting on the podium. The heads loll backwards.
  3. It is a sign of propah upbringing to pronounce one's mother tongue with immense effort, akin to constipation.
  4. Sometimes, just sometimes people spoke sense. And it made sense to help out less fortunate folks (in the process showing off your unparalleled magnanimity - but that's like a tax-benefit I guess)

04 April, 2008

And she returns

Lashing out over the multi-storied building as if with a vengeance. The whip-strokes of an enraged mistress who returns to find her castle in flames. She lashes in a frenzy, and I can no longer see the Science City domes or Sunny Towers from my window. The stokes are like a blurred watercolor - not individual shafts. I hear hear the deep-throated rumblings of her wrath.
But the City is a willing self-sadist, embracing the outpouring wrath with open arms and bared flesh. The ecstasy when the pleasure is so keen that it borders on agony. Dousing the smoldering residue of summer heat.
On my secluded balcony I couldn't resist getting drenched to the skin. I'm dry now, and huddled before the console. Hair standing up like antennae. The streets will be awash with unspeakable dirt, I know. Somewhere, people's homes (the luxury of a single tarpaulin on the pavement) are being washed away.

But it is raining, and raining. Cats and dogs and elephants and whales. And I am ecstatic. That is all that matters. Oh yes, the fact that I'm blogging too!

28 March, 2008

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
Like a worm on a hook,
Like a knight from some old fashioned book.
..
-Leonard Cohen
(yup, a new fascination)

I've always felt that primal longing for something of elusive grace, flitting just beyond definition, flirting with my consciousness. If I could ever grasp it (or so it was felt) . . . well, no idea as to what, but a deep sense of fulfillment. So easy to reach, so hard to define (hats off to Dylan).
You too have heard it - in the descent of dusk over the cityscape, woven into the filigree of window-lights, whispering with the rampant gusts, the shadowy shades in the corners of one's mind. A voice just out of my ken, a thought never formed. And the sense of lingering loss, of vain attempts to capture the beauty of that perfect moment. But the attempt confounds the intent.

Every path that is now to be tread, every summit attained seems to matter so little, never to assuage this unknown, untold loss. I do not even know of what.

24 March, 2008

A moment please


Had been going ga-ga over this picture a talented friend of mine took. In a Memphis cemetery. Now, I wouldn't expect anything less from Meenakshi Das of course! Memories of projectile slippers still haunt me during the grey hours of pre-dawn.
Then again Present fears are less than horrible imaginings...

22 March, 2008

Summer, family and pet peeves

I hate summer. And Vivaldi is not making things any better. When in the world are we going to have a personalized climate regulator? Custom-made, slightly smaller than a blackberry.
There's something enervating about this heat. Give me sub-zero any day.

The Sun's scorching with a vengeance and even the crows are making only half-hearted attempts at disturbance. A madman stays at the house next-door. The violent sort: his dad keeps him on daily sedatives (and pays for the cars he trashes). The heat's got to him as well. Someone's hammering a piece of metal at the garage. The clang marking time for the rhythmic ebb and flow of the heat waves.

Spring's too short. Either it's the cold of Winter or this mundane nerve-sapping monstrosity. Like...like how most of the time you're too young for some things. And then you are too old for them. Within these two walls what thin sliver of sunlight illumines the 'perfect time'?

I visited family, taking advantage of the hiatus between the exams. A cousin - officially labeled the Chief Shit Collector. Pursuing her doc. at the Inst. of Science on wildlife. Right after the usual 'how art thou? -i'm fine and u are still insane...' I was given a crash-course on the various forms of animal droppings (the fine distinction between spoor and scat) which I tolerated for politeness' sake. Banter, banter. Talk of old times. And how things have shaped our paths. Just because we can't see it doesn't mean the path isn't laid out before our feet.

20 March, 2008

The Fountain of Paradise - stopped

Arthur C. Clarke, that well-beloved of sci-fi authors, has passed away. The bringer forth of classic sci-fi like the Garden of Rama, Fountains of Paradise not to mention the one and only 2001:A Space Odessey - maybe somewhere in the infinite depths of his beloved interstellar space Clarke wheels through the void in a monolith. Maybe.

*sniff*

Well, I'm listening to Richard Strauss' "Thus Spake Zarathustra" as a meager tribute. Somehow, I've identified Clarke/Kubrick/HAL/movie+the book thru those strident opening notes.

C-----C----G----- ---G-B---

03 March, 2008

Never afeard

The mind I sway by, and the heart I bear
Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear.

I have slain the abyssal beasts
Torn apart their cosmic feast...

But the price - my scarred mind:
Soul-scorches and fading yesterdays,
And something...something just beyond my grasp,
Tip of my tongue but ne'er quite there
Lost in the depths of the starless void....
The end of all silent songs...


High, oh high, the glisten through the sky oh!
Bright, how bright, the twin moons of mine dreams -
Xanadu the lost, the seat of pleasure.
Of the senses, body, mind and soul...
-Soul? Should there be one?
I do not know, nor can e'er.

And borne on wings of the Desolate
My mind flies through space and time:
Countless li's of both...

On a twilight mount
Alone in the cloud
The eagle paused
And the wind shrieked
In it's stead.

And the mist of the cloud
Formed the eagle's shroud
Wings battered and torn.

Shadowless it fell
Into a sunless sea
Black waves on chalk-cliffs
And I so alone for e'er,
Alone amidst the endless lis
Of sand and grit and solitude.

I smiled then, at peace at last
And sat down to cry . . .


For a wistful smile I had wagered worlds
Cheerfully, and the lank wet hair
Dark beside the ivory face,
My ears dull to the sound of the surf...

Fire-fettered she flirts with the
Spray-fraught wind.

I hear still the silent laugh -
The end of all unspoken dreams,
Balm to scarred souls (yes, souls!),
Calm, limpid pools.

My living mind torn apart:
The Fear Machines, Styron IV,
The last stand on Manhome.

Yea, I bled for things, not people.

And you? -were always but a dream.
That I may ride where there are no tracks,
Walk where I had shuddered before,
Fair will-'o-the wisp, my highest
Reverence, I never bled for thee.

The sands are never tired
Of briny waters . . .


Note: li is a Chinese measure, about half a kilometer. My cousin learned mandarin, and I was always picking up snippets. There are other reasons too, that those who know not need not know.

I had just written a long essay on 'Kubla Khan', hence the poem. If it can be called one. I had to write, and publish it you see. This is a sorry sight ...

Any resemblance to people alive and kicking is entirely unintentional. Believe me.

29 February, 2008

One down, several to go

Okay. So the best way to unwind after the first theory paper happens, I mean just happens to be blogging. Mainly because watching The Constant Gardener with my father a while back doesn't count. Both of us expressed out dissatisfaction with our uniquely distinguishable snorts. Having read le Carre's book before, we already knew the story (anyway, it's an old release in any case).

Oh, and I wrote this essay on 'ambition' Overlaid with generous dollops of Ayn Rand-ish ego, Ulyssesian (not that incomprehensible monument of our dear Dubliner) thunder, garnished all over with liberal amounts of convoluted phrasings and half-misunderstood truisms. To which you may add if you wish the seasonings of siestaic somnolence and the general torpid stupor which clogs the recalcitrant essayist during a board exam.
To which may be added the short-bread of laziness as slovenliness slops onto the saucer of apathy.
And now the monument of my 'ego' is in for repairs.

May I now include an extract from a fellow blogger . . . .


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

School life : The End

Here's a little something that I wrote for school :

Now the cold of winter comes,
Starless night shall cover day.
Nirvana eludes us still
And all hope fades like light
From far Triangulum beyond the stars.
Noradrenaline floods our blodd,
Our minds are dulled to a faint throb.
We walk a crowded road,
We know not why we go.
Transhumanist ideal and xenophobic fear
Mix and meld in one foul broth.
We rush now to the event horizon of our destiny.
What lies before us now?
Some hellish canine to tear our hopes?
Some Ibola plague to burst our veins with despair?
Yet we flinch not!

There can be victory without sacrifice,
No triumph without loss, no interregnum before the end.
Fell deeds await; fire and slaughter!
Spear shall be shaken, shield shall be splintered,
A sore-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
We come singing in the sun, swords unsheathing!
To hope's end we ride and to heart's breaking!
See now the wormhole of hope,
Forth now, there's a last march remaining!
March beyond hope, beyond despair, beyond life, beyond death,
March now to our glory beyond the ending of the world!

27 February, 2008

In the glorious expectation of nothing very much






There's this thing that old photographs, silverware and memories share.

They all get a patina over them with time. And trying to get it off ruins the whole thing. I keep on staring at the faces, unlined and unburdened with my continued exixtence. Trying to read some invisible message into every nuance captured on film. The fungus slowly ruining the features. We all play that game: reading our own lines into other's mouths. One time or the other.

Here's a few scanned in. A half-hearted effort to stop time's decay.

Technical details for those interested in obsolete stuff: The camera was a Himatic-7 Minolta, with a Rokkor lens coupled - 45mm and 55mm.

09 February, 2008

... And when we leave the portals so dear

Sat through the long and exhausting speeches (yet entertaining, our alumni featuring some of the best debaters in the city) of grey-haired pundits who passed out of those very same portals that we will never enter again as students. I realised that some people can never get the debating rebuttal out of their speeches. Heh!

They say, "you may have left Xavier's, but Xavier's never leaves you".

That's it then. One by one, the strings are being cut, the baggage packed and the mast hoisted. The long phase of my student life at St. Xavier's is at an end. The new voyage about to begin. But sitting there, looking up at , and to, those prolific alumni who have gone before . . . I cannot help but feel I have a lot to live up to.

There was an indefinable sense of fulfillment, and a curious numbness at the centre of it all. Even euphoria and grief have taken on a patina of grey, no primary colors anywhere. Smiles, back slaps and three cheers. Words unsaid and curses lifted. 'Lakshmi' mispronounced as 'Lakme'. And my humble self being presented with a ghost-story (aarghh, the ignominy!!!) and a spoof 'Joint Best Essayist'.

We went out then into the dark grounds as the veil of evening settled over the outgoing batch of 2008 for the last time. And, in scattered ragged bursts, the Alsoc caps were thrown high into the darkening sky, like rooks winging swiftly from their nests.

Night fell swiftly, to discordant strains of "For he's a jolly good fellow" (people kept forgetting the second line) , raucous shouts and general hullabaloo that it the soul music of any boy's school.
And our predecessors smiled and thought of '..how many times shall this our lofty scene be acted o'er...'

Did I say I felt we had a lot to live up to? Well, yes. Then again, Nihil Ultra. Nothing beyond. To be held as a good man is a blessing, but to be great, one has to go beyond.
Seriously, if in my sojourn, a cynic such as myself can feel such things about the institution . . . there might be something in all that, y'know.

02 February, 2008

A declamation in an interlude

I am. I think. I will.
My hands . . . My spirit . . . My sky . . . My forest . . . This earth of mine. . . . What must I say besides? These
are the words. This is the answer.
I stand here on the summit of the mountain. I lift my head and I spread my arms. This, my body and spirit, this
is the end of the quest. I wished to know the meaning of things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant
for being. I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the
sanction.
It is my eyes which see, and the sight of my eyes grants beauty to the earth. It is my ears which hear, and the
hearing of my ears gives its song to the world. It is my mind which thinks, and the judgement of my mind is
the only searchlight that can find the truth. It is my will which chooses, and the choice of my will is the only
edict I must respect.
Many words have been granted me, and some are wise, and some are false, but only three are holy: "I will it!"
Whatever road I take, the guiding star is within me; the guiding star and the loadstone which point the way.
They point in but one direction. They point to me.

Anthem - Ayn Rand

Well, that's it. End of existential angst. I wish.

31 January, 2008

Graduation Minima

I don't really want to go to Xavier's tomorrow. But something just tells me I ought to. Perhaps that's because of friends. Somehow, as I've said before, there's no great feeling of epiphany or anything. Just things to be done, and thoughts of the many things undone. And memories that I never knew I remembered, locked up in dusty cupboards like silverware, to be brought out glowing at the right moment.
And grief and joy seem to fuse, and what is left is a sardonic half-smile reflecting the others around me. For either one says too little, or stays silent.

Fact: I'm leaving the not-exactly-un-beloved institution that has been sheltering our delinquent batch (with veritable apocalyptic tendencies, and I believe I speak for all of us) from the cold censorship of the outside world.

Fact no. two: Yes, there will be alumni meetings (after all, ALSOC is pretty much the thing in town) but there are some things that always wilt and fade, like flowers brought in from the wild.


That brings me to our beloved Alumnorum Societas. The ruddy folks in there (fossils who passed out in '62, for pete's sake) time it such that there is a sudden flurry for kerchiefs!
Our official farewell's on the 8th . By the time it's done it'll be evening, the soft caress of the shadows on the school grounds, a few stars bearing mute witness to the stage of many a Xaverian (mis)deed.
And there, at the edge of the field, we shall release balloons (yeah, I know, they couldn't think of anything better) into the darkening sky.
Gloaming...
Always brings to my mind images of a warm hearth welcoming the home comer, like Hobbiton maybe. Of swords that are then sheathed and hung over the mantelpiece.

Well, my dad still gets to have free dinners at the Hindi High (BHS) alumni. I suppose there are perks, after all.

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